Wisconsin Independent Learning College Inc. (WILC) was started because one mother realized there were no options for her autistic son to continue learning after high school. There were colleges, tech schools, and career opportunities for neurotypical counterparts to continue to thrive and learn more in their fields of interest; however, nothing that met or considered the needs of individuals with ASD.
In 2012, this postsecondary opportunity for individuals with ASD to continue to grow and learn was created as WILC with three students. It was a place for these students to come together and learn through spelling to communicate and other means that typical college environments did not accept or recognize. It gave the students a time and place for their voice to be heard and acknowledged. They were finally able to share their opinions on different topics such as current events and where they'd like to live. The students were finding their means for self-determination and what that meant for their future.
In 2016, WILC moved to a larger facility in Waukesha, WI that would provide more students with the opportunity to experience continued learning through whatever form of communication works best for the individual. This move also opened up a variety of doors for our students in the work force as we began our DVR vendor process. We are proud to provide daily living skills training, prevocational training, as well as vocational exploration through DVR all based on the needs of the student and their goals.
WILC's main goal will always reflect providing our students with the skills necessary to lead a purposeful life.
Our students want to be heard and challenged. We are consistently pushing them and providing support simultaneously so that they have the confidence to pursue their goals.
At WILC, we are a team. Our staff, students and their support networks work together to ensure that our program is meeting the needs of the individuals reaching for independence.
Our staff is trained to cater to the unique needs of individuals on the autism spectrum. Through person-centered planning, our staff seeks to be sure that our students feel heard and valued on their independence journey.